Some Questions About the 2nd case of Ebola diagnosed in the US

A few important details regarding the healthcare worker who cared for Mr. Duncan will be key to interpreting the transmission that occurred:

  • Was this healthcare worker part of the 10 definite direct contacts or 38 possible direct contacts that were being monitored? (We know 7 healthcare workers were included in the 10)
  • Was this healthcare involve, at all, with the care delivered during Mr. Duncan's 1st visit to the emergency department during which Ebola was not suspect and no isolation of him was performed? 

Ebola requires meticulous attention to infection control procedures--often something easier said than done--and clearly poses disparate risks to the healthcare worker and general populations. Presumably this healthcare worker, who developed fever and hence became symptomatic and contagious on Friday evening, was immediately isolated delimiting those with direct contact.